I salute our Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, for reiterating that the Malay rulers should not be linked only to the Malays and Islam.
His Majesty emphasised the need “to respect other religions and races.” Equally inspiring was the proud admission by Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah about her Chinese lineage which can be traced back to China’s Guangdong Province. These views of the royalty are most relevant both to the creation of a truly united Malaysia and the need to be proud of our nation’s heritage.
Both our beloved Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong have inspired me to further champion the writing of an inclusive history of Malaysia which is factually accurate, unbiased, balanced and reflects current scholarship. We must not deny or suppress the reality of our rich multi-religious and multi-cultural heritage.
We must never omit parts of our history or tell half-truths to glorify a particular religion or ethnic group. Additionally, we must acknowledge the significant roles played by the various ethnic groups in the development of our beloved nation. Hence, our young must be told the true story of the origins and development of Malaysia, and in that process, inculcate in them a true sense of belonging and loyalty to the nation.
I have been championing and writing about the need to ensure factual accuracy and a balanced account of our nation’s history since 1990. To date, I have not only pointed out more than one hundred factual errors in our history textbooks since 1989 but also factual contradictions within the textbooks for different forms. As a taxpayer and a responsible citizen of Malaysia, I humbly request the Ministry of Education (MoE) to answer the following five questions:
History is a compulsory subject in our schools. Thus, I look forward to a prompt and honest response from the MoE to the five questions I have posed in our noble quest to ensure that young Malaysians are taught the true history of the nation.
Indeed, the MoE needs to be reminded that one of the goals of history education in our schools is “to cultivate the spirit of loyalty towards the nation and to instil a sense of pride to be Malaysians.”
How is this possible if our history textbooks continue to omit the significant contributions of the Chinese and Indians in the economic development of our nation?
May the great architect of the universe grant our leaders the courage and wisdom to do what is right to create a truly united and progressive Malaysia! This will be the subject of the next article.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.